If you look up the definition of integrity, you find two things. First, integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. Secondly, integrity is the state of being whole and undivided. Integrity, therefore, is wholeness; and as a virtue, it is uniting belief and action. Breaking that unity (of belief and action) is literally possessing the lack of integrity.
When you are quick to anger, quick to dispute, quick to sarcasm, what does this tell a student? A colleague? We typically stand in front of our students and tell them how much we care, then when times get difficult, we behave very differently. The same can be said when we act one way at school and then rant on social media from home. Integrity is an alignment between belief and action.
As you think about the title of this month’s posts, What Do You Contribute?. The concept of integrity is paramount. Your contributions come from your actions, words, and attitude. If we do not live compelled in all three aspects, our contributions to our school and our students are limited. Are you pursuing your purpose with humility and putting in the work it takes to achieve this mission, or are you chasing the wind while living in a world of comparison and want? The pursuit of purpose drives the compelled. Chasing “comparison and want” leads to cynicism because nothing will ever be enough.
As you think about the four people I have written about this month (cynics, compliant, committed, and compelled), make sure your attitudes, words, and actions align with the type of person of which you want to be known. It is up to you. You are the only one that can decide how you will live your life. Decide and then align yourself with those beliefs in your daily work. Ask yourself each day, what did I contribute today?